Did you see last week that Facebook changed its corporate vision? The old vision was “Making the world more open and connected”. The new vision is:
“Bring the World Closer Together”
It’s pretty good, right? Five words. That’s pretty tight! Studies have been done on thousands of company mission and vision statements and the average word count runs around 14. It’s really hard to break your mission or vision down in five words or so and have it really mean anything.
When I first got into HR developing your mission and vision statements were a big deal, then like most things we focus on too much, they became a corporate joke. Web sites cropped up where you could throw in some words about your company and these random, meaningless, vision statements would come out and actually sound like something better than you already had, but could have been used by any company on the planet!
Organizations spent millions of hours in meeting developing these statements. Billions of dollars in resources spent. These words were supposed to drive our decision making, help motivate the troops, inspire our customers, cure cancer! If we could just find the ‘right’ words for our vision we’ll change the world!
The reality is, your mission, your vision, has become nothing more than a marketing slogan.
Facebook is a social media site that most people use to share stupid cat videos and once in a while lose their minds about something political before deleting the post after they got their 72 friends in an uproar. “Bringing the world closer together?” Oh, you mean, letting skinning high school friends make fun of fat high school friends. That close? Calm down, Zuck. You stole one great idea, you didn’t cure cancer.
One exercise I’ve done with recruitment marketing and employment branding folks is to tell me your company mission or vision in seven words or less. The reality is, from a marketing perspective, this is probably the time you have as a recruiter to get this in front of a candidate, plus it fits well in a text!
Can you boil it all down in seven words?
It’s tough to do, try it with your team today. Tell me our vision in seven words or less. Share your best one below.
Mine would be – “We put asses in seats”! Five words. Beat that. “We put world-class, asses in seats!” 😉
Go White 🙂
For McKesson, it’s pretty simple and resonates with all of our various divisions: Better Health Starts with Me. Whether you’re in distribution, practice management, technology, wherever you are, it’s about better health. Our distribution center teams train their staff – it’s not a package, it’s a patient. Pretty impactful and generates a strong commitment to making sure the packages get out on time, regardless of weather or other issues.
I support an oncology practice in my role – and their mission is “be the first choice for cancer care”. Little more wordy, but still pretty simple and easy to remember. I agree, if we can’t articulate it quickly/easily and explain how everyone contributes, it’s not going to attract/retain the great talent we need.
Seriously, when it comes to Recruiting/TA, has a candidate really asked you for the company’s Mission/Vision statement? If the candidate has done her homework, she already knows. At that point, the recruiter should expand. Just me
Good point. I don’t think it’s about candidates asking, it’s about your recruiting team being able to easily lock into how they’ll market to the candidate. If you don’t simply know the why, the how to market becomes really difficult.